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Sisters of Charity Foundation highlights WRAC

Women Religious Archives Collaborative (WRAC) Launches Website; Plans to Build Heritage Center in Cleveland

The Women Religious Archives Collaborative (WRAC) has launched its website and continues to make progress toward its goal to build a heritage center in Cleveland to house the archives of congregations of women religious. 

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland is proud to be a founding funder of WRAC, a nonprofit organization serving women religious in preserving their congregations’ unique histories and charisms for future generations—work that has become increasingly urgent.

As congregations’ memberships age and decline in number, at risk is the loss of hundreds of years of these women’s and their forebearers’ tireless efforts and leadership in spiritual formation, education, health care, and social service, and in their commitment to contemplation and action.

Launched in 2022, WRAC is the only effort in the United States led by women religious to ensure their legacies by:

  • providing professional advice and guidance to other women religious without plans for their archives;
  • educating the public about the importance of preserving Catholic sisters’ archives and the records of their unique contributions;
  • coordinating an emerging network of institutions acquiring women religious’ archives; and, importantly;
  • establishing the nation’s first independent heritage center for women religious, which will be a permanent home for the archives of 30+ congregations and a dynamic space open to the public for research and programming in person and virtually.

The WRAC Heritage Center will open in Cleveland in 2025, where the organization is based. In addition to being a vibrant presence locally, its central location and website will facilitate visits from scholars, researchers, and genealogists across the country and beyond. Having secured archival commitments and support from more than 30 congregations to date, the location and land, and architectural designs, WRAC has launched a multi-million dollar campaign to ensure the completion of this project. The center will be the nation’s first independent repository for Catholic Sisters’ archival collections.

This joint undertaking will honor the past accomplishments of women religious while also inspiring future generations to think, dream, and serve in response to the needs and challenges of their time.

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